The test of time

The Public Service Commission (PSC), which conducts tests for the candidates aspiring to join the civil service, has introduced the system of evaluating test papers on computer. According to PSC, it has used the system to evaluate performances of the candidates on objective test for gazetted officers conducted recently. In the past, results of PSC tests took several months to get published. The computerised system of evaluation has made it possible for PSC to publish test results within a matter of hours. In many countries, standardised tests, especially those conducted to evaluate a candidate’s aptitude, are entirely computer-based. This not only saves time but also minimises chances of error during evaluation.

Introduction of computer-based tests would have made PSC exams more scientific. The PSC has the reputation of conducting fair tests and interviews, by and large. It has also revised test modules from time to time in order to meet the requirements of the changing times. However, the test modules are still short of being truly practical and scientific. For instance, irrelevant questions, which do not fall under the candidate’s expected domain of work, need to be omitted. Rather, the questions should be work- specific. This would encourage more competent candidates to compete. Nepal’s officialdom, known better for its unenviable performance, needs them urgently.